There are many challenges that can occur in the creation of a biopic, and for Tupac Shakur’s All Eyez On Me, the situation is no different. The Tupac movie promises to portray the true story behind the rise of the iconic rapper, by following him through his early days to his time on the world stage, and finally his tragic demise. In his prime, Tupac Shakur won fans with his explicit, highly controversial lyrics, and powerful rhymes, and was revered in hip-hop circles as an exceptional lyrist.
That said, 2pac lived a life full of controversies while he was alive, and is said to have escalated the East Coast-West Coast rap feud that involved him and Death Row Records on one side, and Biggie Smalls and Bad Boy Entertainment on the other. The feud is said to have caused the death of both artists, who were cut down in drive-by shootings.
Tupac controversies continued even after his death, with dissensions also arising in relation to his assets. At the time of his death, 2Pac apparently had about $100,000 in the bank, two cars, and owed Suge Knight’s Death Row Records a few million dollars, despite him topping international music charts. The following is an excerpt of the EW report detailing this.
“No mutual funds. No IRA. No real estate. Tupac didn’t even own his Woodland Hills, Calif., home. There was only a five-figure life insurance policy (the beneficiary was his half sister, Sekyiwa), two cars, and a single checking account that contained less than $105,000. Court fees and taxes would consume that quickly. The situation was so bad that when a young woman named Jacquelyn McNealey, paralyzed by a stray bullet during a Tupac concert in Arkansas, sued Tupac and asked for $16.6 million in damages, no one showed up in court to defend the estate.”
Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, eventually managed to protect her son’s music rights and set up a trust to control it. On to the All Eyez On Me movie, the project has been in the works since 2011 but has been dogged by controversy for years, with Morgan Creek Productions and Afeni’s Amaru Entertainment waging legal wars against each other. This consequently slowed down its production.
At the time of her death, Tupac Shakur’s mother, Afeni, was in the process of executive producing the film and had finalized negotiations with major production companies. However, with her demise, there are numerous questions to be raised. The first is how Tupac’s story will be told, given that none of his next of kin is directly involved in the project. Then there is the question of the film characters.
Like Straight Outta Compton, some of the real life characters around Tupac are bound to clash. He had many friends and enemies when he was alive, with different people having starkly different opinions about the artist and impressions of major events in his life. Most recently, Actor Mickey Rourke and DJ Funkmaster Flex were involved in an altercation regarding who shot Tupac two decades ago, following a botched assassination attempt.
According to DJ Flex, Tupac Shakur panicked and shot himself when a gang approached him. The gang’s primary intent was apparently to take his jewelry. The following was the DJ’s exact statement in relation to this.
“He [Tupac Shakur] knew who approached him. He had a steel on him, ’cause he knew he had a issue out there, and when get got there, they was just gonna take his jewelry. They didn’t even touch him. He panicked, pulled out the steel, shot himself.”
This is as reported by XXLMag. The alleged shooting escalated the feud between Tupac and Biggie Smalls. The West Side singer blamed Notorious B.I.G for it. According to Mickey, Tupac was attacked on the night of the shooting. Another contentious area is, who actually assassinated 2pac and why.
Numerous conspiracy theories have suggested that Biggie Smalls paid a gang to do the job, while others claim it was a vendetta by a rival gang. Most recently, Suge Knight, who has for a long time been suspected of having something to do with Tupac’s death, stated that the All Eyez On Me rapper was killed in a failed assassination attempt on him by his ex-wife.
According to Knight, Shakur just got in the way when the shooting started. For others, Tupac Shakur is alive and just faked his own death. These are just a few of the many areas that are likely to cause controversy in telling the Tupac story.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for iHeartMedia]